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Front Runners: Fair Factor

Roelandt Savery’s Black Stallion and His Groom.

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When your faith in the financial markets wanes, you can always turn to more tangible investments, ones that, regardless of their value at any given time, you can still hang on the wall or display on an end table. Few entities offer a broader portfolio of such investments than TEFAF Maastricht (www.tefaf.com), the annual European fine-art fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands, which this year will take place March 13 through 22. In November, at least, TEFAF’s executive committee chairman, Ben Janssens, did not expect the worldwide economic downturn to have an adverse effect on the fair. “Quite the reverse,” he said. “Rather than equities, many people are preferring to put their money into art and antiques.”

More than 200 dealers from 15 countries are expected to offer $1 billion worth of artwork at the event. Highlights will include Black Stallion and His Groom by the early-17th-century Dutch artist Roelandt Savery, which is believed to have been painted for the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and is priced at $752,000. Also on display will be an Egyptian bronze statue of a priestess of Amun (945–715 B.C.) and Black Light Self-Portrait, one of a series of “Fright Wig Self-Portraits” that Andy Warhol made in 1986.

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